2015 Artspirations

As an artist and art therapist, being creative is an essential part of life. Creativity is how I best express and organize myself, and frankly I would be lost without this outlet.

Being creative every day is easy – whether cooking a recipe, sketching in a journal, brainstorming ideas or organizing a calendar, you can put your creativity into everything you do! What isn’t easy is dedicating consistent time to making art in this fast-paced, business-focused life.

Something that helps me to make art every day is to add some structure to it. Maybe you see that with your clients, or yourself, having too many options can be overwhelming. I find that placing loose boundaries on a project can help me focus and see it through.

This year I am organizing some of my art-making time by using a little book for weekly art-inspiration – Just One Thing: developing a buddha brain one simple practice at a time by Rick Hanson, PhD. I chose it for it’s simplicity, inspiring messages and it’s structure. There are 52 chapters for each of the 52 weeks in the year, so it’s quite perfect!

The first chapter’s theme that I’ve been reflecting on this week is “Be For Yourself”. It’s a really simple concept, yet it has inspired several evenings of “creativity storms” in my art journal. The book has questions, prompts and instructions for how to put the theme into practice.

Today this sentence has been on my mind: “When you take good care of yourself, then you have more to offer others…” As a therapist, I have this conversation about self-care with many clients, but I appreciate that this was the first theme because it’s an ideal time for me to reevaluate my own self-care practices. New year, new you, right? I’m one of those people who truly believes that everything happens for a reason and with everything that’s going on in my life at the moment, a refocusing on the self seems “meant to be.”

Next week I’ll begin a new focus on “Take in the Good”. I’m really excited about using this book as a weekly inspiration for art-making and journaling, and I hope that it will help me to fulfill my 2015 creative aspirations.

There are some awesome art-inspiration projects going on these days. Here are a few of my favorites:

Creativity in Motion’s Creative Deed 365 Project: https://gretchenmiller.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/introducing-creative-deed-365/ Gretchen writes, “This year I am making small pieces of art (3 x 2.5) to randomly gift to others as acts of kindness and to spread creative goodness to others in the spirit of 6 Degrees of Creativity’s 2014 Creative Deed Project.”

Creative Every day: http://creativeeveryday.com/creative-every-day-challenge You can sign up to be part of the challenge community and Leah provides an optional monthly theme to inspire your creative acts. She also hosts an Art Every Day Month (AEDM) challenge every November: http://creativeeveryday.com/art-every-day-month.

Make Something 365 and Get Unstuck: http://makesomething365.blogspot.com/ The companion site for the books 365: A Daily Creativity Journal and Unstuck: 52 Ways to Get (and Keep) Your Creativity Flowing at Home, at Work & in your Studio from Noah Scalin, creator of Skull-A-Day.

Daisy Yellow has both the time-constraint-free Prompt60 Challenge: http://daisyyellow.squarespace.com/vividlife/prompt60-index.html a growing series of journaling prompts to challenge you with sparks, ideas & quotes, and the Index Card A Day (ICAD) Challenge: http://daisyyellowart.com/icad/icad-faq.html 61 days of creative challenges in the summer

I’d love to hear about what others are using for their daily art inspiration.

Creativity and Blessings to you in the new year!

Art Therapy Alliance’s 30 Day Art Therapy Facebook Hop Starts June 1

Don’t miss the Art Therapy Alliance’s 30 Day Art Therapy Facebook Hop in June! Art Heals’ FB page will be featured on June 6th! 🙂

Art Therapy Alliance

Beginning June 1st, I will be hosting a 30 Day Art Therapy Facebook Hop through the Art Therapy Alliance’s community page. Each day of the month will feature a different art therapy Facebook Page I’ve selected from all over the world!

30 Day Art Therapy Facebook Hop | Art Therapy Alliance My hope is that this month long collaborative effort will increase the visibility of art therapy across Facebook. Not only is this a fun way to use social media to promote art therapy, but more importantly, an awesome opportunity to support & celebrate the work of art therapists and strengthen our Facebook community dedicated to this field!

Pages chosen for this Art Therapy Hop are all administered by art therapists or art therapy students with an interest in sharing their own work, program, art expression, or ideas and content they are passionate about and inspired by.

To join in on the hop, just head to Hop Headquarters on Facebook

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Make, Swap, & Meet Up: San Antonio Art Therapy Artist Trading Card Exchange

What a great idea! Looking forward to this ATC swap 🙂

Art Therapy Alliance

Coming this Summer….. An Artist Trading Card (ATC) Exchange and Meet Up in San Antonio, Texas co-organized by Andrea Davis, LPC, ATR-BC and Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC, CTC-S:

Make, Swap, & Meet Up!

This Artist Trading Card (ATC) Exchange coincides with the annual American Art Therapy Association Conference this July in San Antonio, Texas.  Members of the Art Therapy Alliance and 6 Degrees of Creativity communities who will be at this year’s conference are invited to participate and spread the word to others who might be interested!
Bring your finished handmade ATCs, meet up in a fun, creative way with others from the art therapy community, network, and swap your art with other art therapists and students.
ATC Exchange Overview:
  • You will create 3 Artist Trading Cards to exchange with 3 other community members who are participating in this exchange in San Antonio. Create 3, Receive 3!
  • Please make sure your ATCs are…

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PGI Blog Spotlight on Art Heals!

PGI Blog Spotlight on Art Heals!

I’m honored to be the featured alumna on the Phillips Graduate Institute blog this week!

Thanks to PGI for helping me to be the Art Therapist that I am today! ❤

Click the link above to read the blog post

STATA board

Starting this month, I am now on the board for the South Texas Art Therapy Association (STATA) as the newsletter chair. I am very excited to hold this position and to sit on the board for my regional chapter of AATA. I look forward to utilizing this blog and the newsletter in the coming months to share information about art therapy happenings in the Austin area. Now all that’s left is to figure out how to write a newsletter… lol 😉

2014 6 Degrees of Creativity Workshops- On Sale Now!

6 Degrees of Creativity

Announcing: 2014’s workshop line up for 6 Degrees of Creativity:

On Sale Now!

6 Degrees of Creativity 2014: WorkshopsWHAT ARE 6 DEGREES OF CREATIVITY WORKSHOPS?

6 Degrees of Creativity unites concepts of social networking, connecting, collaboration, art-making, and creativity into an engaged global community of artists exploring transformation and using art for good. 6 Degrees of Creativity will be offered as a self guided 10 month on-line workshop running from March 2014-December 2014 that includes 6 different workshops.

The basic foundation of 6 Degrees of Creativity empowers the idea that we are all closely connected and believe in the potential to make a difference through the power of art and creativity in our own lives, relationships, communities, and world. 6 Degrees of Creativity will offer inspiring techniques, approaches, and ideas to participants related to exploring and empowering this theme.

The 6 Degrees of Creativity network will include an online community to share, discuss ideas, post…

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2014 I Am Ready!

2014 I Am Ready!

Apologies for my absence from Art Heals Austin – one of my goals for 2013 was to start a blog and to maintain it for 6 months. Once I reached that goal, I spent the rest of the year focusing on other goals, while maintaining my dedication to the Facebook page. One social media outlet seemed to be enough for the time being…
2013 taught me about running a private practice art therapy business – it takes a lot of energy, list-making, investment, focus, brainstorming, networking, learning, hard work and goal-setting. Last year I also experienced some personal pitfalls – losses of life that impacted my art making and sharing. Sometimes things are best kept private, as privacy maintains the intimacy.
2014 is already jam-packed with new goals and aspirations! I look forward to sharing more projects, events and art-makings with you while highlighting the many ways that art is healing in Austin.
2014 I Am Ready!

Grandma’s ATCs

Grandma's ATCs

Artist Trading Cards – Follow Up

On a recent and unexpected trip to visit my grandmother, my heart was warmed to see her proud display of the ATCs I sent her after our deeply emotional and philosophical conversation about love, life and death. (See original post from 02/14/13)

We continued this after-life conversation, as I was in town for a funeral, so talking about death was only appropriate. She has what I can only describe as unparalleled wisdom to offer. Her views of life have changed throughout her nearly 95 years, and only recently has she reached that place of peace with what is destined to come. She is welcoming of the next phase of life.

She is also adamant about being non-judgmental and completely accepting of others, as she describes that as the only way to reach the next place. She says, “I love everyone!” in her tiny yet reassuring grandma voice.
And she’s right, as usual.

I’ve been sitting in a uncomfortable place lately; in the wake of a difficult loss and the reality that grandma will not be around too much longer to share her wisdoms. Making art is the only respite that I have for these difficult emotions, so I will continue to create tiny artworks (ATCs) to share with her.

If only everyone could see life through her eyes. I am thankful everyday for continued presence, her stories, her lessons and her love. I cherish her.

Thanks to 6 Degrees of Creativity’s recent Pocket Change project for re-igniting my interest in ATCs (http://6degreesofcreativity.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/pocket-change-creating-change-through-small-creative-acts/)

Art for Change

Art for Change

A special little artist friend of mine attended Art Heals’ recent community art event. I explained to her that we were creating positive art messages for children living in an emergency shelter. She went to work expressing her ideas on paper, as other children took notice of her art-making confidence. She worked deliberately, and as she finished a piece she proudly hung it on the Wall of Art and returned to the table to create more.

Here is one of several inspirational artworks she created that day. For me, this piece is the epitome of why we were making art. Art helps! Art heals! I know this to be true in my own life and also from my art therapy work over the past decade. Clients have attested to the incredible power of their imagery to enable change and growth. Creating art is healing, and healing brings change. And this 5 year old artist understood that by creating art we were going to help others.

I believe strongly that “we must be the change we wish to see in the world” and I know that, in many ways, the path to change is through art. Thanks to my little artist friend for this amazingly impactful yet simple art masterpiece. I am totally inspired.

NCMHAD event

NCMHAD event

This is my favorite photo from the event.

I think it’s fascinating to observe people – a natural characteristic that undoubtedly steered me to be a psychotherapist.

I observed the way that parents interacted with their children at this community art making event. Many parents checked out the space, and myself, and then decided they felt safe enough to leave their children at my booth while they shopped the market. Some parents stood around and watched their kids make art, and offered encouragement. Some parents steered their kids away from the art making booth, stating they “didn’t have time” and “You can make art at home!” And then some parents took advantage of the opportunity to create art with their kids. Several parents even crawled down onto the ground to work side-by-side. I was most intrigued by this parent, who was demonstrating the principles of art benefiting children’s mental health. The parent-child interaction was so much more important than the resulting artwork.
It was an opportunity that some chose to take, and I was happy to be able to offer it.

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